Prince Andrew ‘not honourable’ for attempting to avoid trial on ‘technicality’

Prince Andrew is 'banished from royal life forever' says Myers

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The Duke of York, 61, is set to face a civil trial in the US over allegations of sexual assault after a judge rejected his lawyers attempts to get it dismissed. Virginia Giuffre, who is suing the royal, alleges that he sexually assaulted her three times 20 years ago when she was 17 and an alleged sex trafficking victim of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Epstein took his own life in prison while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges in 2019.

Andrew has repeatedly denied the allegations against him, and claimed he has no memory of ever meeting Ms Giuffre.

At a hearing in New York earlier this month, Andrew’s lawyers argued that the case against him should be thrown out due to a technicality contained in an agreement between Ms Giuffre and Epstein — a 2009 financial settlement between them barred her from pursuing legal action against other “potential defendants”.

But Judge Lewis A Kaplan not only dismissed the attempts to stop Ms Giuffre’s civil damages claim against the Duke, but also underlined that many of his arguments had been “of no assistance”.

Dominic Casciani, the BBC’s home and legal correspondent, said this was “basically judge talk for a waste of his time”.

Andrew has since had his military titles and royal patronages stripped of him and returned to the Queen, and he will stop using the style ‘His Royal Highness’ in an official capacity — something which a source told The Mirror resulted in his breaking into “tears”.

Tonight, his relationship to Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, a friend who was recently found guilty in a sex trafficking trial related to Epstein, will be followed during ITV’s documentary, ‘Ghislaine, Prince Andrew and the Paedohpile’.

Pod Save the Queen is a podcast hosted by Zoe Forsey and featuring Daily Mirror royal editor Russell Myers.

Speaking on a recent episode of the podcast, Mr Myers gave a damning verdict on Andrew and his actions surrounding the legal case.

He claimed that the way the prince had carried himself during the last few months, and his use of a “technicality” to try and get out of the trial, was not an “honourable” way to act.

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Mr Myers said: “The way that he has conducted himself, be it his Newsnight interview, talking about being honourable, talking about how the relationship with Epstein was beneficial to him, the wall of silence that has persisted throughout this case with Virginia Giuffre, is frankly shameful.

“I think that in the court of public opinion, which is absolutely rampant right now, a lot of people are saying that it’s not a particularly honourable thing to be trying to get off facing a court, and facing down your accuser, from a technicality that was used by a convicted sex offender and paedophile who chose to take his own life, rather than face further scrutiny in court.”

In 2019, Andrew was interviewed by Emily Maitlis for BBC Newsnight in what was widely regarded as a disaster for him.

Several organisations and charities moved to distance themselves from the royal following the talk, in which he claimed that it was impossible he had had sex with Ms Giuffre in London because on the day of the first alleged sexual assault, he was at home after having taken his daughter, Princess Beatrice, to a party at a Pizza Express in Woking.

Mr Myers’ use of the word “honourable” is a throwback to something Andrew said in the interview.

When asked why he met with Epstein after he was released from prison for a second offence, Andrew claimed the trip was intended to break off his friendship with the disgraced financier.

Then, when asked why he had stayed in Epstein’s Manhattan townhouse for several days if he had gone to break off his friendship, Andrew said: “I stayed with him and that’s… that’s… that’s the bit that… that… that, as it were, I kick myself for on a daily basis because it was not something that was becoming of a member of the Royal Family and we try and uphold the highest standards and practises and I let the side down, simple as that.


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“At the end of the day with the benefit of all the hindsight that one can have it was definitely the wrong thing to do but at the time I felt it was the honourable and right thing to do.

“I admit fully my judgement was probably coloured by my tendency to be too honourable but that’s just the way it is.”

Shortly after the interview, Andrew announced that the Queen had given him permission to step back from his royal duties for the “foreseeable future”.

He later admitted that the Epstein scandal had become a “major disruption” to the Royal Family.

Many have noted how savagely efficient the Royal Family was in responding to the judge’s decision to dismiss Andrew’s arguments.

Peter Hunt, a royal commentator, tweeted: “Brutal.

“The Windsors have shown that when the institution is under threat, dynastic preservation trumps flesh and blood.”

Sean Coughlan, the BBC’s royal correspondent, said the move could be seen as “inevitable”, as the palace would likely have wanted to avoid “facing endless awkward questions” about Andrew’s future.

A source close to Andrew told the broadcaster that despite the judge’s decision, he will “continue to defend himself” against the case brought against him by Ms Gifuffre.

The source insisted that the ruling that the civil action could proceed was “not a judgement on the merits of Ms Giuffre’s allegations”.

Buckingham Palace said in a statement: “With the Queen’s approval and agreement, the Duke of York’s military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to the Queen.

“The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen.”

All of Andrew’s roles were returned to the Queen with immediate effect.

They will now be redistributed to other members of the Royal Family.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence said it had no comment about the Duke’s military titles being handed back to the Queen, and that it was a matter for the Palace.

Last week, a letter ‒ released by anti-monarchy pressure group Republic ‒ was signed by more than 150 Royal Navy, RAF and Army veterans asking the Queen to strip Prince Andrew of his eight British military titles.

Lieutenant Stuart Hunt, who served in The 1st Royal Tank Regiment, signed the letter and welcomed the prince losing his military titles.

However, he suggested the matter should have been resolved sooner, telling PA News Agency: “It’s an unsavoury business.

“I’m just glad he’s not associated with the military now.

“Whether he’s guilty or not, he has brought things into disrepute.

“He’s not fit to serve in an honorary rank. He has forgone that right by getting into this sort of situation.”

Ghislaine, Prince Andrew and the Paedophile airs at 9pm on ITV One.

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